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Josef Korbel School of International Studies Humanitarian Assistance Program

Josef Korbel building

Current Students

Kelly-Elizabeth Thayer

Humanitarian Assistance Student Kelly ThayerKelly-Elizabeth Thayer is pursuing a MA in international development with a certificate in Humanitarian Assistance at the Josef Korbel School for International Studies. Prior to beginning graduate studies at the University of Denver, Kelly worked in the outdoor industry as both an environmental educator and wilderness guide for people of all ages and abilities and people with disabilities. Kelly integrated groups of mixed abilities on adventure expeditions throughout North America.

Kelly spent three years in Tanzania, East Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Her first two years were spent in a remote village in Southern Tanzania where she developed and taught (in the language of Swahili) an environmental education and life-skills curriculum to primary school students. Additionally Kelly taught HIV/AIDS awareness/prevention to community members while incorporating women's empowerment messages into each lesson. This HIV/women's empowerment education included applying for US PEPFAR funds to support two multi-day Women's Day events that Kelly also organized. Kelly's third year in Peace Corps was spent working to develop educational curriculum for a conservation-focused NGO in Northern Tanzania through whom she continues to work as a private contractor.  Completing the certificate in Humanitarian Assistance will supplement Kelly's past experiences with practical skills, theory, and a working knowledge of the humanitarian field.

Kelly has a bachelor of arts in anthropology and environmental studies from St. Lawrence University. Kelly grew up in Washington state, loves to travel, was once a dog musher, and loves to have outdoor adventures. Kelly currently resides in Denver, CO.